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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

African American Monument

 
 
African American Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed by Brian Scott, April 21, 2005
1. African American Monument
The monument was designed by Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Professor of Foundation Dorothy Spradley. Spradley was assisted by one of her students, fourth-year SCAD architecture and architectural history student Dan Koster.
Inscription.  

We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African Continent
We got on the slave ships together, we lay back to belly in the holds of the
slave ships in each others excrement and urine together. Sometimes died
together and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together. Today we are
standing up together with faith and even some joy.
—Maya Angelou
 
Topics. This historical marker monument is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansColonial Era.
 
Location. 32° 4.9′ N, 81° 5.464′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker is on River Street near Bull Street, on the left when traveling south. On the waterfront. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Savannah Waterfront (here, next to this marker); Savannah and the Slave Trade (a few steps from this marker); Jewish Colonists (within shouting distance of this marker); Savannah in the American Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); Gen. Oglethorpe's Landing
African American Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed by John Bloomfield
2. African American Monument
From the Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog: Nearly ten years in the making, the monument is the first in Savannah to honor African Americans. The idea for the monument came from retired teacher Abigail Jordan, who took her idea to the city government. In 1991 the African-American Monument Association was created to organize the plans for a monument. Jordan contributed nearly $100,000 of her own money to erect the $500,000 statue by Savannah College of Art and Design Professor Dorothy Spradley.
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(within shouting distance of this marker); A Storeroom By Any Other Name (within shouting distance of this marker); Landing of Oglethorpe and the Colonists (within shouting distance of this marker); This is Yamacraw Bluff (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Savannah.
 
Also see . . .  Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project (MPCPMP). (Submitted on February 2, 2020, by John Bloomfield of Palm Coast, Florida.)
 
Additional commentary.
1. Middle Passage Monument, 2002
This narrative courtesy of MPCPMP.
Savannah erected a River Street monument on its waterfront commemorating Africans who were removed from their homeland, suffered enslavement, and contributed to the city and region’s development.

Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Data Base identified 105 ocean ship crossings between 1766 and 1820 that delivered to Savannah 11,453 captive African children, women, and men from Sierra Leone, Gambia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Ghana, W. Central Africa, Congo, Angola and Guinea Bissau to the city. As the original capital, this is the oldest city
Tablet below the main inscription on the monument's front image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, December 30, 2020
3. Tablet below the main inscription on the monument's front
The African American Monument
Dedicated July 27, 2002
In honor of Dr. Abbie H. Jordan
(1925 - 2019)
Educator, Leader, Trailblazer, and Community Activist Dr Jordan's vision, tenacity, and financial contributions were the driving force that ensured the Savannah Riverfront was the home of the first statue in Savannah that honors African Americans. The Consortium of Doctors, Ltd., an organization that Dr. Jordan founded in 1991, made significant contributions to this effort.
Sculptress: Dorothy Spradley
This plaque unveiled July 26, 2019
in the state. Its economy was based upon slavery, rice, and cotton. Located within the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, Savannah has many sites related to people of African descent:

• First African Baptist Church (1777) is the oldest Black church in North America.
• Laurel Grove Cemetery (South), formerly known as the “Negro Ground,” is one of the oldest Black cemeteries still in use.

After his Civil War “March to the Sea,” General William T. Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15 from the Green-Merldrim House temporarily granting to emancipated families “forty acres and a mule,” from the confiscated properties of Confederate land owners.
    — Submitted February 2, 2020, by John Bloomfield of Palm Coast, Florida.
 
Sculptor Signature, on the side of the monument with folded hands at the base image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, December 30, 2020
4. Sculptor Signature, on the side of the monument with folded hands at the base
African American Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed by Mike Stroud, January 2008
5. African American Monument Marker
African American Monument Marker, along The Savannah's River front image. Click for full size.
Photographed by Mike Stroud, 2008
6. African American Monument Marker, along The Savannah's River front
From the Smithsonian Arts Inventory Catalog: A family of newly freed slaves (father, mother, son and daughter) stepping out in faith, with broken chains at their feet. The base of the sculpture is carved with chained and praying hands, and is inscribed with a quote by author Maya Angelou. The monument is installed on the cobblestone riverfront where the first slaves arrived in Georgia.
African American Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed by Mike Stroud, January 2008
7. African American Monument Marker
Detail on the Monument image. Click for full size.
Photographed by Mike Stroud, February 2008
8. Detail on the Monument
Detail on the river-facing side, showing folded hands on the monument's base image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, December 30, 2020
9. Detail on the river-facing side, showing folded hands on the monument's base
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 10, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 3,811 times since then and 150 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 20, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   2. submitted on February 2, 2020, by John Bloomfield of Palm Coast, Florida.   3, 4. submitted on January 1, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia.   5. submitted on February 10, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   6. submitted on November 16, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   7, 8. submitted on February 10, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   9. submitted on January 1, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 18, 2021